Life Hacks to Boost Your Fitness:
The New Year is in full swing and you are certainly sticking with your New Year’s resolutions…right?! Sadly, for many folks, they’ve already fallen off and it’s all too common. We all have the best of intentions as the New Year begins.
Resolutions, goals, commitments; call them what you will – they can be a great way to get you set up for success and focused on some healthy improvements in your life.
If you find yourself struggling to keep the commitment(s) you made to yourself on January 1st, it’s time to consider a few exercise and life “hacks”. These tips are simple, realistic, and could be just what you need to get back on track.
Talking about and creating resolutions is one thing. Actually taking action and executing a plan is something else all together.
#1: Be consistent.
You must make your health a priority in your life. You need to eliminate the excuses and incorporate exercise into your weekly routine. Simple. Not easy.
Once you’ve got the proper mindset, you have to show up. Getting on your Total Gym or walking into the local gym 1-2 times a month isn’t going to get it done. The weekly frequency will vary from person to person depending upon your fitness level, exercise experience, goals, to name a few. The important take-away is taking action, showing up on a consistent basis, and putting in the work.
# 2: Add variety.
Once you are consistently exercising, try some different options. If you always walk on the treadmill, try using the rowing machine instead. Adding a new piece of equipment, like the Total Gym, into your weekly routine is another great way to change things up.
# 3: Interval train.
Talking on your phone while you take a slow walk on the treadmill most likely won’t get you the results you seek. Challenge yourself by increasing your heart rate in a safe manner and the results will come.
# 4: Daily life adjustments.
Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or next time you are at the mall, park in back of parking lot and walk further.
# 5: Desk life adjustments.
Sitting is unhealthy. Get up every hour, even for 5 minutes, to walk around the office, get some water, and stretch out the body.
# 6: Write it down.
Research shows writing down your workouts in a log (or using an app) leads to greater consistency and better results.
# 7: Get a partner.
Training with a friend or with a group also leads to improved consistency and positive results.
# 8: Hire a coach.
Seek the assistance and advice of a qualified professional. Working with a trainer/coach is a great way to establish goals, create a plan, and ensure quality form and technique on your movements.
# 9: Get rest.
The body recovers, regenerates, and repairs when it is sleeping. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Inadequate rest can lead to tiredness, injuries, and more frequent sickness than those who are well rested.
# 10: Set realistic goals.
Avoid trying to do too much at once. Stay within your limits, ask for help, and remember that slow progress is better than no progress.
# 11: Have fun.
It you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it. Find exercises and healthy activities that you enjoy doing so you’ll continue to do them.
# 12: Start Now!
It’s the start that stops most people. You don’t need to start out by going to the gym 6 days a week. A long journey begins with a single step. Be realistic with your goals and get started today.
These twelve strategies aren’t elaborate or overly involved. They do not need to be. They are effective because they are simple. The important thing is to apply them into your practice. Do not think you need to implement everyone of these tips today. Pick 1-2 that that will positively affect your training and make them part of your routine.
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a trainer, coach, presenter, and the founder of DB Strength. He recently opened a fitness facility outside of Boston called, “Iron Village Strength & Conditioning”. He was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Alliance Training Center where he worked with many top professional MMA athletes. Visit www.DBStrength.com or www.IronVillageSC.com for more information.